Kendrick Perkins just got back from a severe knee injury. He’s not even able to put in a full game’s work yet. But he’s busted his tail to come back early, and his impact has helped the Celtics tremendously (not that they needed a lot of help). He worked hard to get himself back in condition, not just for his team, but for his future prospects. And the Boston Herald reports that despite what would seem to be an obvious slam dunk for the Celtics to extend him, Perkins has other ideas. From the Herald:
According to two league sources, Perkins has already turned down a Celtics offer that is bound by the CBA’s current restrictions — a contract extension worth slightly less than $30 million over four years, which reflects the currently mandated contract limits of a 20-percent increase and a four-year maximum. Perkins, represented by agent Arn Tellem, has opted to wait until he is an unrestricted free agent, when even in an unpredictable market he has a chance of commanding far more.
The Celtics did what they’ve done before, which is throw out a low offer, then hope the player takes it, and if not, they’ll go hard after him this summer. They have no intention of letting Perkins walk as long as the Big 3 have any life in them, and even beyond that, Perkins and Rondo will share the burden of ushering in the next phase of Celtics post-Big-3.
But Perkins is going to have offers. Lots of them, including one from the Heat, most likely. Unless the CBA dramatically shifts the amount the Celtics can offer him, or removes their ability to add extra money or years to the deal, he’ll likely remain a Celtic for the foreseeable future. But these things are unpredictable. If Perkins sees a better opportunity somewhere, he’ll take it.